International Studies & Programs

The Scholars

Every year, the Mastercard Foundation Scholars program welcomes new undergraduates and graduates from sub-Saharan Africa to Michigan State University's campus. These Scholars have demonstrated academic talent and have a personal commitment to give back to their countries.

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Teta Linca Ukundwa Cohort: 2017
Country: Rwanda
Level of Study: Undergraduate
Major: Pre-Nursing
College: College of Nursing

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Biography: Teta Linca is an undergraduate student majoring in nursing. She has been visiting the sick at the hospital since she was 10 years old. Teta Linca hates to see people suffer, and hopes to help heal the sick and reduce their pain as much as she can. In the past, she has worked as a nurse for her high school volleyball team. With her passion for helping others, Teta Linca plans to work hard as a future nurse and be a catalyst for change in Rwanda's health system.

Ekene Stephen Aguegboh Cohort: 2017
Country: Nigeria
Level of Study: Graduate
Major: Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics
College: College of Agricultural and Natural Resources

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Biography: Ekene is a graduate student at MSU, majoring in agricultural, food and resource economics. After completing his undergraduate studies, he worked as a Graduate Teaching/Research Assistant in the Department of Economics at the University of Nigeria Nsukka. There, he served as an academic adviser to undergraduate students and was engaged in the execution of departmental research activities, grants, and projects. In the future, he plans to promote intellectual, research, and community development values, which he believes would result in much-needed progress and change that will propel Africa towards effective development.

Chima Maduka Cohort: 2017
Country: Nigeria
Level of Study: Graduate
Major: Compartive Medicine and Integrative Biology
College: College of Veterinary Medicine

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Biography: Chima Maduka is pursuing a master's degree in comparative medicine and integrative biology. He holds a bachelor's degree in veterinary medicine from the University of Maiduguri in Nigeria, where he graduated with distinction. Chima is passionate about animal welfare through veterinary diagnostic imaging, a discipline in which he hopes to build a clinical and research career. Chima dreams of a modern, technology-enabled veterinary practice that will sustain food security, animal welfare and, by extension, human health. He hopes to play a key role in this practice by training and mentoring several generations in veterinary radiology in Nigeria and Africa at large.

Symon Masiaine Cohort: 2017
Country: Kenya
Level of Study: Graduate
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife
College: College of Agricultural and Natural Resources

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Biography: Symon is a graduate scholar majoring in fisheries and wildlife. He received his BS from the University of Nairobi in Kenya in 2013. He has worked on a wide variety of wildlife research projects throughout Kenya. Currently, Symon works to protect reticulated giraffes in Northern Kenya in partnership with the San Diego Zoo Global, the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, and The Nature Conservancy. In Michigan, Symon is researching the population dynamics, occupancy, and movement ecology of giraffes. In the long term, Symon is striving to help pastoral communities in Kenya to protect, preserve, and sustainably manage their wildlife and natural resources for future generations.

Komla Afoutou Cohort: 2017
Country: Togo
Level of Study: Undergraduate
Major: Computer Science
College: College of Engineering

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Biography: Komla Afoutou is an undergraduate student from Togo majoring in computer science.

Gloria Nzeka Cohort: 2017
Country: Democratic Republic of Congo
Level of Study: Graduate
Major: Journalism
College: College of Communication Arts and Sciences

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Biography: Gloria is pursuing a master's degree in journalism at Michigan State University. She previously graduated from the Namibia University of Science and Technology with a degree in information technology. Before attending MSU, Gloria worked as a content producer for a non-profit media organization in Cape Town, South Africa, producing written blog articles with the purpose to uplift, inform and positively impact African youth. Being fluent in English and French, she also worked as a French copywriter for a local organization whose aim is to provide e-learning materials specifically designed to equip people with a low literacy level with the necessary skills they need to succeed in life. During her years in Cape Town, Gloria was a volunteer at her local church, where she facilitated the activities of the media department and contributed in mentoring young people involved in the field of audio/visual media. With an education in journalism, she would like to work and excel as an international TV broadcast journalist and documentary filmmaker, covering topics of governance and public affairs, and how they relate to the economic development of African people. In addition, she would like to become an advocate for youth education and development.

Raymond Appeah Adda Cohort: 2017
Country: Ghana
Level of Study: Graduate
Major: Public Policy
College: College of Social Sciences

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Biography: Raymond Adda is pursuing a master's degree in public policy at Michigan State University. He holds a degree in political science from University of Ghana. After graduating from his undergraduate studies, he worked as a research assistant at the Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies at the University of Ghana. There, he assisted in training selected youth to use organic waste to produce organic fertilizer both as a source of income and as a means of dealing with the sanitation challenges in the capital, Accra. He also trained selected youth on varying sanitation issues. Raymond has also worked briefly as a sales agent at Izwe Loans, Ghana. He has volunteered several times for different NGOs for community development initiatives, and has spearheaded two these initiatives.

Abii-Tah Chungong Cohort: 2017
Country: Cameroon
Level of Study: Undergraduate
Major: Jame Madison College
College: James Madison College

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Biography: Abii-Tah is a driven undergraduate student, double majoring in International Relations and Comparative Cultures and Politics at James Madison College. Prior to MSU, Abii-Tah was a student at the African Leadership Academy (ALA) in South Africa where she served various leadership positions such as ALA student government chairlady, house captain, church leader, and Chief Financial Officer of Smartrepreneurs—a student-run organization that refines and markets artists' skills to help them establish successful careers using their art. After graduating from ALA, Abii-Tah presented a speech and ran a Human Rights and Leadership workshop at the 2016 Global Student Leaders conference organized by Education First Educational Tours at The Hague, Netherlands. She also co-founded and helped run Cameroon Youth Reform Initiative (CYRI) which worked to reinforce creativity and innovation to overly-dependent, young Cameroonian students and graduates. In addition, Abii-Tah worked for international educational organizations, such as Enko Education to promote the International Baccalaureate curriculum in African schools. Currently, Abii-Tah is developing her own project called “My Camer and I,” which seeks to rid her country of indifference towards ongoing social issues. Through her project, she intends to use entertainment and education to implant a seed of oneness within the country’s citizens in order to ignite their desire to initiate individual and collective actions that will, in turn, produce invaluable solutions to Cameroon's problems. Abii-Tah's greatest forte is her passion to engage any community around her to drive empowerment for themselves, and the world at large.

Nyimasata Danjo Cohort: 2017
Country: The Gambia
Level of Study: Undergraduate
Major: Pre-Med
College: College of Human Medicine

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Biography: Nyimasata is an undergraduate Scholar majoring in neuroscience. She is an aspiring young Gambian who is very passionate about global health sustainability. She grew up in rural Gambia where little or no social amenities exists. These devastating conditions did not stop Nyimasata from pursuing her goals and succeeding academically. Born to a peasant family, most of Nyima’s siblings and friends became school dropouts due to financial issues. Undoubtedly, Nyimasata had to work excessively hard to gain enough support for her education. She believed this paved a way for her relentless efforts to succeed both academically and professionally. Nyimasata has been a peer health educator from which she became aware of the health needs of her people. She has been actively involved in health awareness campaigns both at school and in her community. Being awarded the Mastercard Foundation Scholarship has been one of Nyimasata’s greatest achievements. Coming from a rural high school to a massive campus like MSU was a success that she never imagined. Nyimasata aspires to continue on to medical school after receiving her bachelor’s degree, and eventually become a doctor that will better the health of her people and the world at large.

Casper Uyapo Gate Cohort: 2017
Country: Botswana
Level of Study: Undergraduate
Major: Chemical Engineering
College: College of Engineering

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Biography: Casper Uyapo Gate is an undergraduate Scholar pursuing a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Michigan State University. Growing up in Botswana, Casper is the youngest child of a large, single-parent family. Turning her challenges into opportunities, Casper became dedicated to her studies, and developed a passion for giving back to her community. After graduating from junior high school, she was awarded the opportunity to study at Maruapula School under the Maruapula Scholarship. While studying at Maruapula, Casper joined a service called Naledi Teaching, a group designed to provide guidance, instructions, and empowerment to future generations. She contributed as a mentor, motivating and educating youth with hopes of shaping them into strong leaders. After high school, Casper worked with a professor to find ways to reduce gender-based violence in Botswana, as well as advocate for the interests of people living with albinism. After she graduates from MSU, Casper hopes to create and implement an entrepreneurial mentorship program. She also plans to work with the government to curb problem such as unemployment, gender based violence, discrimination, and inequality.

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